My Department allocates recurrent funding to the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for direct disbursement to HEA designated higher education institutions. The HEA allocates this funding as a block grant to the institutions. As autonomous bodies, the internal disbursement of this funding, including the funding of student services and the employment of counselling staff, is a matter for the individual institution.
All higher education institutions (HEIs) are required to put in place appropriate student services, and the provision of appropriate services to students experiencing mental health issues would be included in that. As part of these services, all HEIs need to consider what is most appropriate in the particular context of their institution and students, while also considering best practice models such as peer-led support programmes and seeking to liaise with external services to the fullest extent possible.